What are the Penalties for a DWI in New York?

In New York, driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious crime. There are, however, varying degrees of DWI charges, all of which carry different penalties, so if you were recently charged with a DWI, it is critical to speak with an experienced DWI attorney who can explain your charges and help you formulate a defense.


Types of Violations

Under New York law, there are a number of different types of DWI offenses, some of which are punishable by jail time, hefty fines, and license suspension. The most commonly charged DWI offenses include:

  • Driving while intoxicated, which occurs when a driver operates a vehicle with .08 blood alcohol content (BAC) or higher;
  • Driving a commercial vehicle while intoxicated, which occurs when a driver is operating a commercial vehicle with a BAC of at least .04;
  • Aggravated DWI (AGG DWI), which means that a driver had a BAC of .18 or higher at the time of arrest;
  • Driving while ability impaired by alcohol (DWAI), which is charged when a person has a BAC of more than .05, but less than .07;
  • Driving while ability impaired by a drug other than alcohol (DWAI/Drug), which occurs when a driver is under the influence of a single drug; and
  • Driving while ability impaired by a combined influence of drugs or alcohol (DWAI/Combination).

These laws are all applicable to drivers who are over 21 years old. However, drivers who are under this age and who drive with between a .02 and .07 BAC can be charged with a DWI under the state’s zero tolerance law. Those who are convicted under this law face a six month license suspension and a civil fine. A second violation of the zero tolerance law is punishable by the revocation of the driver’s license until he or she turns 21 years old.

Drunk Driving Punishments in New York

Possible Penalties

Each type of DWI is punishable as a separate offense and carries specific penalties. For instance, a standard DWI is punishable by a $1,000 fine, a one year prison sentence, and a six month license revocation. An Aggravated DWI, on the other hand, is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500, a one year prison sentence, and a one year license revocation. However, if a person is convicted of a second DWI, whether or not it qualifies as aggravated, within ten years of the previous conviction, he or she faces a $5,000 fine, a four year prison sentence, and a license revocation of up to 18 months. Finally, a third DWI within the same ten year period can mean seven years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you were recently charged with a DWI or other drug or alcohol-related offense, you may be facing significant jail time and hefty fines, so please contact us at the Law Offices of George Vomvolakis by calling 212-682-0700 to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable and dedicated New York criminal defense attorney.